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America's new tastemakers...

America’s new tastemakers…

 

Meet the rising young stars who are changing the way the world drinks.
Ian Brand, 32
Winemaker, Coastview Vineyards, Le P’tit Paysan, Monterey, CA
After moving from Utah to California to pursue surfing, Brand found his real calling at Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz, where he was assistant winemaker from 2004– 2007. He has also been winemaker for Nicholson and Pierce Vine- yards and consults for various clients in the region. Innovative, experimental and eager to push the envelope in the Salinas Valley and beyond, Brand is known for his progressive approaches to plantings, commitment to organic farming and tireless promotion of Monterey as the next region to watch in California.
Bibiana González Rave, 35
Winemaker, Rave Vines & Wines, Santa Rosa, CA
Originally from Colombia and trained in France, where she earned dual degrees in viticulture and enology, González Rave spent years doing two harvests a year, from South Africa to France and California, and was until recently the winemaker at Lynmar Estate, where she earned stupendous reviews for her silky Pinot Noirs and complex Chardonnays. Last year she decided to go out on her own, launching Rave Vines & Wines, where she is laser focused on one place only: Pahlmeyer’s Wayfarer Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. The first of her cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be from 2012. In addition to making a small amount of her own wines, she’s partnering with husband Jeff Pisoni on a Sauvignon Blanc brand.
Read on …

SwartlandRev_Poster2012FA

 

 

A bunch of South African wine rebels are becoming increasingly law-abiding.
By Rebecca Gibb | Posted Monday, 31-Dec-2012
On a hot spring day in the isolated village of Riebeek Kasteel, a group of bearded men sport Che Guevara-inspired T-shirts and workers’ caps declaring that they are part of “The Swartland Revolution.”

But it’s about time they ditched the “R” in “Revolution,” as the surrounding wine-growing region now appears to be in a happy phase of evolution.

The revolution took place “around 10 years ago when Charles [Back] started Spice Route,” explains Chris Mullineux of Mullineux Wines. “There were around 10 wineries then; today there are 32.”

In the past decade, the region has made its mark, moving from the mass-produced, high-alcohol wines traditionally made in Swartland to carefully crafted, more elegant examples. In terms of exposure, it helped that the people behind the wines were pretty kooky and the wines were not half bad.

While visitors to the region were spreading the word about this unconventional corner of South Africa, the local growers were making gradual changes. Since 2010, a new status quo has been established through rules and regulations.

The local producers formed the Swartland Independent Producers’ Association and introduced a code of practice for all members. It declared that acidification of wines was a no-no, despite relatively low acidities in this region making this a questionable idea.

“The secret of the Swartland is that this is a warm climate so the acidity is low, but the pH is healthy because of the old vines,” explains Mullineux. “If you were a fanatical winemaker, you would probably be tempted to acidify.”

In addition, their charter also states that there must be no yeast additions, so the ferments are all spontaneous; and there must be no chemical supplements to the fermentation, such as pectolytic enzymes, powdered tannins or water additions. Chemical fining is forbidden. Sulfur, which is a common antioxidant and antimicrobial, is allowed, but producers “are encouraged to make moderate additions” only.

The group has a lot of rules, considering that most of its members are non-conformists. Thankfully, for those of us who don’t subscribe to the bigger-is-better school of wine, most of the rules are a welcome relief when so many New World wines taste more like burnt toast, because of overly enthusiastic oak treatment obliterating the fruit. In Swartland, the wines must not be fermented or matured in more than… read on

 

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